Creating Connections 2023

The 6th annual Creating Connections symposium on writing pedagogy will take place Friday, June 2nd. Our theme for this year is Generating Text: Teaching, Writing, and Learning in the Age of AI, and this event is part of the campuswide “AI in Action” series beginning May 12th. Our half-day symposium will feature interactive workshops on using ChatGPT and similar technologies throughout the writing process as well as a roundtable discussion on the practical and ethical questions surrounding use of ChatGPT in the writing classroom. The 2023 symposium is intended as an in-person event, but we will provide a Zoom link for those who would like to watch remotely. Please see our accessibility guide here.

A recording of the event is available here until July 2, 2023.


Powell 186 (East Entrance) See accessibility guide for more information
Zoom information will be provided via RSVP.


Coffee, Welcome, and Introduction to AI in the Writing Classroom

Welcome from Laurel Westrup, Coordinator of the Graduate Certificate in Writing Pedagogy
Introduction to Text Generation Tools by Andrew Jun Lee, Psychology (slides)

10:00 – 10:30

Guided Workshops: Using ChatGPT throughout the Writing Process 

Genre Writing & Thesis Development using ChatGPT

Workshop Leader: Jordan Galczynski, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures

Description: This activity has students use Chat GPT to delineate characteristics of different genres of writing and thesis construction. First, students will ask ChatGPT to answer a prompt in a specific genre style (argumentative essay, blog post, podcast, magazine article, etc) to model different forms of writing. From there, students will ask Chat GPT to develop a thesis statement for an argumentative essay. Students will then request the AI to review the thesis in terms of clarity, conciseness, and specificity. Through this two part activity, students will use ChatGPT to model how to write within a specific genre and how to craft and revise a thesis statement.

Links: lesson plan and worksheets | slides

AI as a Writing Assistant: Leveraging Technology for the Research and Writing Process

Workshop Leader: Chloe Bell-Wilson, History

Description: In this workshop, attendees will learn how to use AI for the initial writing stages, as they find their topic, work on a literature review, bring together notes and rough ideas, and think through outlining (if that is a stage of writing they use). We will address the ways to ask good questions and set reasonable parameters to receive the best results from AI as a virtual research assistant. Finally, we will explore the limitations of AI, and discuss how to work around them.

Links: handout | slides

Employing Generative AI to Revise and Edit

Workshop Leader: Leslie Sherwood, Writing Programs

Description: In this workshop, attendees will participate in student-facing activities that they can modify for their own writing pedagogy contexts.  Attendees will engage in a peer review task with their partner, ChatGPT.  Second, attendees will leverage the tool to edit word choice and sentence structure, referencing it as a corpus and contrastive thesaurus resource.

Links: Handout with ChatGPT prompts | slides

10:30 – 12:00

Roundtable: Practical and Ethical Questions around ChatGPT in the Writing Classroom

Dana Cairns Watson, Writing Programs
Jacob Lang, Writing Programs

Links: Policy on the Use of AI Technology from a BU Data Science class | Discussion Questions | Slides | Resources

*Lunch will be served prior to the roundtable, but participants are welcome to bring food outside following the roundtable if they’re more comfortable eating outside.

12:00 – 12:30

Lunch and Casual Conversation

12:30 – 1:00

2023 Steering Committee:

Peggy Davis, Writing Programs
Emily Frake, School of Education
Spencer Robins, English
Laurel Westrup, Writing Programs

2023 Volunteers:

Hayley Bricker, Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences
Arpit Gaind, World Arts and Cultures
Kristin Liao, Sociology
Jada Patchigondla, Writing Programs

Thank You

Dean Alexandra Minna Stern, Humanities
Christine Holten, Director of Writing Programs
Sara Hosegera, Curriculum Planning Analyst, Writing Programs

This symposium was organized by students in the Graduate Certificate in Writing Pedagogy in consultation with faculty and staff in UCLA Writing Programs